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Can't start computer


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#1 BigD_NC

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 08:44 PM

Hi there, I went away for a week and came home to find my desktop (Dell E510) power light flashing constantly. When I press the power button nothing happens. Light keeps flashing.

I unplugged the power cord for a few minutes and that didn't remedy the situation. I also took off the cover and vacuumed vents and blew out any dust inside, that didn't work either.

Any suggestions?

Thanks.

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#2 moaoe

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 11:02 PM

Read this manual set up by dell. See if there is anything that will help on your amber light problem.

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/syst...1.htm#wp1114195

#3 CohenTheBarbarian

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 01:15 PM

Disconnect everything from the motherboard - any pci cards (modems, network cards - leave the video card if you don't have onboard video), and all drives. If it still won't even POST you've got one of these problems: your memory is bad, your video card is bad (if it's not built into the board), your motherboard and/or processor is bad, or your PSU is bad.

Start by taking all the memory out of the board - does the machine beep repeatedly?

Do you have onboard video or is there an actual video card?

#4 BigD_NC

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 07:10 PM

Read this manual set up by dell. See if there is anything that will help on your amber light problem.

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/syst...1.htm#wp1114195


Looking at the manual it looks like those lights should be lit up solidly. The problem is that the lights are flashing so quickly I can't see what lights, if any, are lit.

#5 BigD_NC

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 07:12 PM

Disconnect everything from the motherboard - any pci cards (modems, network cards - leave the video card if you don't have onboard video), and all drives. If it still won't even POST you've got one of these problems: your memory is bad, your video card is bad (if it's not built into the board), your motherboard and/or processor is bad, or your PSU is bad.

Start by taking all the memory out of the board - does the machine beep repeatedly?

Do you have onboard video or is there an actual video card?


I'll be honest, I know a little about computers but would feel more comfortable if there were a reference for this. Do you know of a reliable reference?

From what I have read online the symptoms sound like a bad PSU, but I wanted to be certain. Is there any way to test the PSU before proceeding with anything else?

#6 dc3

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 07:23 PM

As it so happens, yes.

Testing PSU

The purpose of this procedure is to bypass the motherboard to test the PSU.

Caution:
This procedure will involve working with live 12VDC electrical potentials which if handled improperly may lead to electrical shock. Proper precautions should also be taken to prevent electrostatic discharges (ESDs) within the case of the computer. For safety purposes please follow the instructions step by step.

First, shutdown your computer. Then unplug the power cable going into your computer.

Once you have opened the case, touch the metal of the case to discharge any static electricity.

The connector of the PSU which connects to the motherboard is readily recognizable by the number of wires in the bundle. To disconnect it you will need to press on the plastic clip to disengage it and then pull the connector up and away from the motherboard. Please take notice of the location of the locking tab and the notch on the socket of the motherboard, this will only connect one way as it is keyed. This wire bundle will have a memory of the way it has been installed and will want to bend back that direction, you may have to play around with it to find a position that the connector will stay in the same position while you run the test.

Posted Image

From the top left to right the pins are 13-24, the bottom from left to right are 1-12.


Please notice that there are PSUs with 24 pin and 20 pin connectors, the location of the green wire in the 24 pin connector is #16, and the green wire in the 20 pin connector is #14. If you look at the connector with socket side facing you and the clip on the top the number one pin will be on the bottom left corner. This makes the pin out for the 24 pin connector from left to right 13-24 on top, and 1-12 on the bottom. The pin out for the 20 pin connector from left to right is 11-20 on top , and 1-10 on the bottom. If you look at the connectors you notice that these are sockets that fit over the pins on the motherboard where the PSU cable attaches, this is where you will place the jumper. For a jumper you will need a piece of solid wire about the size of a paper clip (20-22 awg), preferably a wire with insulation. It will need to be large enough to fit firmly into the socket so that it will not need to be held in place while testing. You are at risk of electrical shock if you are holding the jumper when you power up the PSU. Insert one end of the jumper into the socket of the Green wire, and insert the other end into the socket of any Black wire.

Once the jumper is in place plug the cord back in. If the PSU is working properly the case fans, optical drives, hdds, and LEDs should power up and remain on. I would suggest that you not leave this connected any longer than is necessary for safety purposes.

At this point you can use a DC Voltage meter to read the different rail Voltages. You will want to insert the black probe into any of the Black (-) sockets, and insert the Red (+) probe in the five different colored sockets, one at a time. Below are the five different colors and their corresponding rail voltages. The Voltages should be within about ten percent plus or minus of the given values.

Yellow +12VDC

Blue -12VDC

Red +5VDC

White -5VDC

Orange +3.3VDC

To reconnect the 20/4 pin connector unplug the power cord, remove the jumper, and reconnect the connector. Take a moment at this time to make sure that nothing has been dislodged inside the case.

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